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Trump’s Islam Comments Draw Fire From Rivals, But Civility Reigns

Campaign 2016 Headlines National News Politics

Trump’s Islam Comments Draw Fire From Rivals, But Civility Reigns

Republicans, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump

By James Oliphant and Luciana Lopez

MIAMI (Reuters) – U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump came under fire from his rivals on Thursday for saying Muslims hate the United States at a debate that was relatively free of the gut-punching attacks that have dominated past encounters.

Trump, the front-runner who could tighten his grip on the Republican presidential nomination battle if he wins Florida and Ohio on Tuesday, defended his belief, as stated in television interviews, that followers of Islam “hate us.”

“We have a serious problem of hate. There is tremendous hate,” Trump said.But Trump’s rivals, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Governor John Kasich said the United States needs to maintain good relations with Muslim countries in the Middle East to help in the fight against Islamic State militants.

“We are going to have to work with people in the Muslim faith even as Islam faces a serious crisis within it,” Rubio said.

Rubio also defended American Muslims as patriots.

“If you go anywhere in the world you’re going see American men and women serving us in uniform that are Muslims,” he said.

“Anyone out there that has the uniform of the United States on and is willing to die for this country is someone that loves America,” he added.

Kasich, looking to win his home state of Ohio on Tuesday in order to keep his candidacy going, said Middle Eastern allies in the Arab world are essential.

“The fact is if we’re going to defeat ISIS, we’re going to have to have those countries,” he said, citing Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.

Trump said he would consider between 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops on the ground in the region to help defeat Islamic State, saying he would complete the mission quickly and bring them home to focus on rebuilding the United States.

“We really have no choice, we have to knock out ISIS,” Trump said. “I would listen to the generals, but I’m hearing numbers of 20,000 to 30,000.”

It was the most detailed view yet of Trump’s thinking about Islamic State. He has previously talked of “knocking the hell” out of ISIS without offering specifics.

The CNN-hosted debate took place at a crucial time, days before primary votes in Florida and Ohio that could catapult Trump even further ahead of his rivals despite an intense anti-Trump movement by establishment Republicans who are trying to deny him the party’s presidential nomination.

Both the Florida and Ohio Republican primaries award delegates on a winner-take-all basis, meaning that the winner of the popular vote is awarded the state’s entire slate of delegates.

So far, 25 states and Puerto Rico have held nominating contests, and Trump has amassed a solid lead in the delegate race. According to the Associated Press, Trump has 458 delegates, followed by Cruz at 359, Rubio at 151, and Kasich at 54.

Clinching the Republican nomination requires 1,237 delegates.

Trump on Thursday appeared to try to appear more presidential, something he has pledged often in the past to do so but never has. On Thursday he modulated both the tone of his voice and the tenor of his remarks, which in prior debates have drawn sharp criticism for being vulgar.

“I would say this, we’re all in this together. We’re going to come up with solutions, we’re going to find the answers to things, and so far I can’t believe how civil it has been up here,” Trump said.

The two-hour debate included a sober discussion of pressing challenges from illegal immigration to reform of Social Security to free trade deals, a marked departure from the finger-pointing schoolyard taunts that the candidates have engaged in past debates.

Trump insisted he would impose a tariff, as high as 45 percent, on some imports from countries like China.

Trump said his goal is to encourage production of goods on American soil.

“People will buy products from here,” Trump said. “We’ll build our factories here and we’ll make our own products.”

But Cruz, looking to emerge as Trump’s central challenger and consolidate the party’s anti-Trump vote, said the New York billionaire’s tariff plan would only lead to higher prices for American consumers because companies from the exporting country would increase prices.

“A tariff is a tax on you, the American people,” Cruz said.

Trump said he would pause for a year or two the H1B federal visa program to reduce an influx of foreign workers into the United States.

He acknowledged he has taken advantage of that visa program in order to bring in foreign workers to work at some of his own resort properties. He said he would also pause the issuance of Green Cards, which grant permanent residency, for these workers.

Kasich emphasized the need to control the U.S. southern border with Mexico to stem illegal immigration. He said he would offer a path to legal status, but not citizenship to the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.

“We can’t just have people walking in,” Kasich said.

Trump got a fresh injection of campaign momentum on Thursday with plans by rival Ben Carson, who is popular with conservatives, to endorse him.

Trump said Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who dropped out of the race March 4, would endorse him on Friday at an event in Florida.


(Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson, Alana Wise, Amanda Becker; Writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Photo: Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich stand together onstage at the start of the Republican candidates debate sponsored by CNN at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Skipper



  1. FireBaron March 11, 2016

    Hey, Kasich and Cruz are wearing Blue ties! That must mean they are closet Democrats!

    1. jmprint March 11, 2016

      Kasich maybe Cruz only if HE benefits.

  2. penguin March 11, 2016

    More and more Trump presents himself and his ideas as HItler did. Scary and getting scarier as some Americans buy into his racism and bigotry…as many Germans did to Hitler.

    1. AgLander March 11, 2016

      Do you enjoy showing your ignorance or are you actually claiming 6 million people are being targeted for the gas chambers? You are a silly penguin, a bird that is known for standing in its own waste.

      1. stcroixcarp March 11, 2016

        11 million are going to be deported. What if no country will accept them? Then you have to put these people in concentration camps. That gets expensive to feed and clothe them. Hey, Trump can fix that. Just kill them.No one cares anyway. They are dangerous rapist and drug smugglers. They won’t be missed…You dear, are the fool and a slave to your hatred.

        1. AgLander March 11, 2016

          “slave to your hatred” …….such rich words from you considering that your Democrat party is historically the party of slavery and continues to practice it today with its programs of bondage expressed through a welfare system they set up to purposely keep people dependent on their failed big brother government that stifles individual initiative. I guess that makes you a modern day slave master. Are you ashamed?

          1. Independent1 March 11, 2016

            You really have been brainwashed with all that conservative fantasy about welfare benefits making people dependent. Fact is clueless, that European countries that provide far more support to their people who are struggling to make something out of their lives (like free 4-years of college for example) have a far lower percent of their populations sucking welfare. Problem is that nutcases like you are such narcississtic hypocrites that you refuse to let our government actually provide people who are struggling the level of aid that will actually let them succeed at getting off of perpetual welfare.

          2. AgLander March 11, 2016

            Another “rich” comment from a liberal mind programmed for handouts. So you want a free college education paid for by your neighbor….what else is on your wish list of freebies? Car? House? Clothes? Morning coffee?…….thanks for displaying the folly of your thinking. Let’s just agree to disagree because there is no point where we can intersect because when I get up in the morning I look in the mirror for my energy, motivation and means of support, unlike you, who looks in the direction of Washington DC for your sustenance. I pity your way of life because it’s a life of bondage to faceless rulers who only want your vote every 4 years and throw crumbs and promises your way to get it.

          3. Independent1 March 11, 2016

            Problem is there clueless, is that virtually every red state which is being governed by a philosophy that you think SHOULD WORK, are in fact the dregs of America. The states that rank poorly in virtually every measure you want to make ARE RED STATES.

            On top of what I posted for you above, a recent money magazine just published a list of how states in America rank with respect to what their citizens have to spend on personal consumption – You Know, go to the store and buy things. Well guess what – ALL 25 OF THE STATES IN AMERICA WHERE PEOPLE ARE NOT ABLE TO REALLY AFFORD MUCH OF ANYTHING TO LIVE ON ARE GOP-RUN STATES!1

            Even Texas which is #2 in GDP creation ranks #34 in personal consumption spending because people there earn so little and do nothing but feed money to the top 1%. IS THAT HOW YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD LIVE SUCKER???????

          4. jmprint March 11, 2016

            And what is it that is being thrown your way with the republican party, less abortions, more voter depravations, more tax breaks for the filthy rich. Yeah, that is really, really good for America. If it hadn’t been for the obstructionist (tea party), people wouldn’t be angry.

          5. Independent1 March 11, 2016

            And why is it that you right-wing nut jobs always spew the absurd when someone talks about giving people a helping hand?? No one said anything about people should be entitled to get cars or houses – all that is just a RWNJ absurdity.

            But maybe you need to realize just who in America is getting all these handouts you seem so dead set against, well for your information IT’S BY FAR PEOPLE LIVING IN GOP-RUN STATES!! As a percentage of the populations of Red States, Red States by far lead the nation in sucking welfare. Of the 456 counties in America that suck the most welfare, 221 of them went for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.

            And the problem is, when Republicans set people up for welfare, like they did in spades during the Great Recession by cutting state budgets and services, throwing government workers out of jobs which cut demand for goods and services which ended up with private sector people losing their jobs; the benefits GOP-run states provide is barely enough for people to live on; much less to have the money they need to search for and get another job.

            You just can’t give unemployed people just enough to pay the rent and barely food on the table. How are they supposed to keep making car payments and keeping a phone hooked up so they can search for and find another job. And when you pass right-to-pay-you-less laws which turn most jobs in a state into part time and very low wage – what incentive do people have to get off unemployment or welfare – when if they take a job they’ll be in worse financial condition than on welfare, because they may be making not much more money but now have to pay for gas, a car, maybe new clothes and all the expenses associated with a job – maybe even day care for the kids.

            So you can be sure there clueless that it’s by far GOP-governed states that have turned more of their citizens into career welfare suckers!!!!

          6. Sand_Cat March 11, 2016

            Why are you guys feeding this moron?

          7. Cloudherder March 11, 2016

            You have a point there.

          8. Cloudherder March 11, 2016

            You know, I pay at minimum $10,000. A year in taxes. People that get welfare get approximately 400 to 600 dollars a month. Yeah, they are rolling in dough. And it is usually single mothers and the working poor that recieve it. I bet you still believe the myth of the Cadillac welfare queen, don’t you?

          9. Independent1 March 11, 2016

            And answer me this, how can the ideology you’re supporting be right, if depriving more and more people of aid when their struggling by doing things like refusing to give them Medicaid, or requiring them to take drug tests to get benefits, or giving them more paltry benefits in the first place, as is the case in many red states across the nation , results in hese statistics about red states:

            29 of 31 states with the most people living on the verge of bankruptcy are red or purple states with GOP-governance (that’s almost every red state).

            21 of the 24 states with the most people living in poverty (and needing welfare) are red states.

            Only 3 of more than 25 red states get less federal aid back than they send to Washington in Taxes and those 3 get back over 96 cents on the dollar of taxes. It’s 14 Blue states with better welfare benefits that are actually supporting America because many of them get back as little as 60-70 cents of aid per dollar of taxes they send to Washington.

            And what else has all this GOP governance gotten the people living in those states? One survey organization has selected 10 red states as the most miserable states to live in and other organization has selected 10 red states as having the worst quality of life.

            Is that what you really want for America – it being a miserable place to live for everyone but those in the top 1%??

          10. jmprint March 11, 2016

            No, it just you a modern day idiot. Those that didn’t and won’t raise the minimum wage are the ones keeping people dependent on others.

      2. penguin March 11, 2016


        Frank L. Ellsworth

        1. Cloudherder March 11, 2016

          Don’t leave. AgLander is an idiot.

      3. jmprint March 11, 2016

        What is your excuse, a bird brain?

  3. The lucky one March 11, 2016

    “I would listen to the generals, but I’m hearing numbers of 20,000 to 30,000.” How thoughtful of the Duck that he would listen to the generals. The question is who is he “hearing numbers of 20,000 to 30,000” from. Would that be his lackeys whose jobs totally depend on telling him what he wants to hear or is it the voices in his head that tell him he is the all powerful and all knowing TRUMP.

    1. jif6360 March 11, 2016

      It’s hard to tell where those numbers are coming from. They could very well have come from the US generals. These same generals have defied their commander and chief, giving aid to Assand.

  4. AgLander March 11, 2016

    By any measure, the depth and substance of the 4 Republicans on that stage last night would make any of them a preferable choice to the table scrapes the Democrats are offering.

    1. CrankyToo March 11, 2016

      You need to get someone to hold the “smart” end of your measuring tape, because you don’t measure for sh!t.

    2. jmprint March 11, 2016

      Can you name just ONE thing that impressed you.

    3. latebloomingrandma March 11, 2016

      Is this satire, because I’m not laughing?

    4. Independent1 March 11, 2016

      You mean those 4 clownshow candidates who don’t have a clue as to how to fix even their own toilet?? Give me a break!! Certainly you can’t be that clueless to believe what you just posted!!! Even the editors of the Tampa Bay Sentinel, I believe it is, – just refused to endorse any one of those clowns because they said not one of them was fit to be president and stated that Hillary is the most experienced person that has run for president in decades!!!

  5. stsintl March 11, 2016

    How many of Trump’s family members will join the 20-30,000 men and women he would send to fight ISIS? Or, like GWB, Dick Cheney, and Rumsfeld, he would let the rest of us shed blood and get maimed while his loved ones enjoy the pleasures of life in comfort?

    1. Sand_Cat March 11, 2016

      That’s easy: as close to zero as possible.

  6. stsintl March 11, 2016

    Mirror mirror on the wall, who is fairest of them all? Trump asks the mirror.
    Guess what mirror says?
    Since Trump and his white Supremacist, Islamophobic, followers hate Muslims, Donald Duck thinks Muslims hate us. Any psychologist will tell you that hate begins from one’s own self.
    Also, this Idiot and other Republicans haven’t learned the lessons of history. After ten years and 50,000 deaths US couldn’t win against the rag-tag Viet Cong gorillas in Vietnam. Russia and the US with all their military might and twenty years, and running, couldn’t win against the Taliban. How in the Hell, Drumpf thinks that he can send 20-30,000 soldiers to Iraq/Syria and wipe out ISIS. We have more serious problems right here with Heroin addiction, killing over 135 Americans every day, and 30,000 deaths from NRA sponsored terrorism.


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